Dec 21, 2014

Enjoying Steak in a Less Guilty Way - Served with Arugula Salad

Just trying to balance off the beefy diet with some healthy greens.


Ingredients?


  • 1 medium to large steak
  • 1 small box of arugula
  • 8 walnuts
  • Some honey
  • Small handful of dried cranberries
  • Some shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Some sea salt
  • Some freshly ground black pepper
  • Little bit of olive oil


Dressing:

  • Some balsamic vinegar
  • Some extra virgin olive oil
  • Small pinch of sea salt
  • Small pinch of freshly ground black pepper


How?

Remove the steak from the fridge and let it stand in room temperature for about 10 minutes before cooking. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Brush a thin layer of olive oil to a grill pan and turn to medium high heat. 

Once the pan gets hot, transfer the steak over. Do not move it once set down to the grill till about 30 seconds later, otherwise the meat might stick onto the grill. However, there's no need to touch the steak until its ready to be flipped. Sear for about 2 minutes on each side, the exact time varies depending on the thickness of the steak and how rare you'd like it to be. Medium to medium rare are good for this salad recipe.


Let the steak rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. While waiting, let's get the remaining ingredients ready.

Take a small non-stick pan and turn to medium high heat. Add in the walnut and toast till the nutty aroma comes out. Drizzle a little honey over the walnuts. The walnuts might stick to each other once cool down but just separate them by hand when plating. 

In a container, mix together about one spoonful of balsamic vinegar, small pinch of sea salt, small pinch of freshly ground black pepper, and some extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil should be a little more than the balsamic vinegar. Shake or mix well, this will be the salad dressing. 

Take a big bowl and toss the arugula with enough salad dressing. Plate the seasoned arugula to a big serving plate. Arrange some honey toasted walnuts, shaved Parmesan, and dried cranberries throughout. 


Lastly, transfer sliced steak next to the salad.


You can substitute the arugula with other types of salad greens. However, for such headstrong beefy steak, I think the peppery arugula pairs the best.


Other salad recipe:
Lettuce and prosciutto salad with poached egg
Smoked duck breast and citrus salad
Summer salad with watermelon, feta, balsamic reduction, and cilantro dressing

Dec 14, 2014

Spicy Uni Pasta with a Touch of Sriracha and Kumquat Juice

Getting off the bed every morning in such a cold weather can be a tough task. My desire for warmth is also growing day by day. Hot drinks, mittens, blanket on the sofa, even the heated toilet seat provide a sense of comfort. Food-wise, if not having Chinese chicken soup nor western pot roast, at least something spicy would warm up the body from inside out.

The regular creamy uni pasta is not good enough in winter. However, using chili infused linguine and some Sriracha in the sauce, sounds like a good idea!

Spicy uni pasta with a touch of Sriracha and kumquat juice -



Ingredients (for 2 to 3 portions)?

  • 1 bag/250 grams of linguine with red chili 
  • 1 small box/100 grams of uni
  • 2 to 3 kumquats
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • Small pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • Some sea salt
  • Some dried seaweed flakes


Dressing: 
  • Small amount of flat leaf parsley
  • Small amount of dill
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • Some extra virgin olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some freshly ground black pepper

How?

Use a food processor and blend together small amount of flat leaf parsley, dill, 1/2 lemon juice, small pinch of salt, small pinch of black pepper, and some extra virgin olive oil. There is no set amount for the herbs, if you like the scent from the parsley, then add more parsley; if you don't like dill, then don't use it. Just make sure to season the mixture with salt and pepper. Also drizzle enough olive oil to make the texture resembles pesto dressing.

Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add few pinches of salt. Add in the pasta and cook till al dente, drain well, set aside, and wait for the sauce to be ready.

Peel and chop the onion into tiny cubes. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan, add in the onion along with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and a small pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Cook till the onion turns translucent then add in finely chopped garlic. Give it a quick stir.

Pour in the heavy whipping cream and most of the uni. Save a few pieces of uni to garnish on top of the linguine later. Also add about 1/4 teaspoon of Sriracha to the heavy cream. Use the spatula to break the uni into smaller pieces, it also helps the flavor to sink in. 

You can also blend this creamy sauce together with uni by using a food processor. However, I'd like to have larger chunks of uni for this recipe instead of smooth texture if mix with the processor.

Add the pasta to the cream sauce and mix well.


Plate the pasta and top with few pieces of uni, torch a little for a more intense aroma. Squeeze one kumquat juice for each portion. Sprinkle with some dried seaweed flakes and drizzle with some parsley dill dressing. 


You can even serve this pasta with some Tabasco sauce on the side. The sourish taste from the Tabasco actually works quite well with creamy uni sauce.

Other seafood pasta recipe:
Refreshing lemony shrimp pasta for a light weekend meal
Make ahead recipe: spaghetti with pesto made with anchovies, green olives, and parsley

Dec 7, 2014

Yes. I Do Like My Eggs Slutty (Eggslut Downtown Los Angeles/Grand Central Market)

I feel ashamed that I haven't discovered the Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles sooner. Guess the OC bubble kept me away from such vibrant food scenes happening in the big city.



First time stepping into the market, all the fresh produce, butcher shops, healthy juice counters, food corners, and even petite Mexican grocery stores excite all my senses.



But what drew me here in the first place? Something slutty, something juicy - the infamous gourmet burger joint Eggslut -



Just like the name implies, egg is the main ingredient used for most of the dishes. Try to avoid weekend lunch rush hours, otherwise you might end up with a minimum of 30 minutes waiting line - speaking from experience. 


Besides the multi-cultural food scene, Los Angeles is also known for its traffic and parking issues. Luckily, there's a parking area designated for the market with entrance on Hill Street between 3rd and 4th. Free one hour parking with validation.



View of Eggslut from the street -



While waiting in the line (click on the picture for an enlarged view) -



Even though it says lunch menu, Eggslut actually only opens from breakfast hours till afternoon. Lucky Los Angeles residents who get to enjoy such great burgers in the morning -



Completely open prepping area -




Seared wagyu tri-tip steak, sliced and ready to be used as the main ingredient for gaucho -



Seating area for Eggslut is pretty limited with only a roll of stools -



However, there are many tables and few dining sections throughout the Grand Central Market. You can always bring the food and enjoy it somewhere else, just without the fun of watching Eggslut staffs transforming ingredients into delicious dishes -



Fresh juice -


Eggslut cheeseburger, single $8 with added avocado for extra $1 -


"Ground American wagyu beef, caramelized onions, bread and butter pickles, melty cheddar cheese, and dijonnaise, topped with an over medium egg in a warm Portuguese bun."

The "Slut" in the making -


Slut $9 -


"A coddled egg on top of a smooth potato puree, poached in a glass jar and served with toasty crostini."


I would expect the Slut to be a burger, since this mainly burger/sandwich-related joint is called Eggslut. Surprisingly it was something completely different. A dish loaded with carbs but in a delicious way. Even without the smooth texture from the runny yolk, the potato puree itself is creamy and well seasoned. Imagine eating highly flavored mashed potato, something close that.

On the left: Bacon, egg & cheese $6 -


"Hardwood smoked bacon, over medium egg, cheddar cheese and chipotle ketchup in a Portuguese bun."

Oozing cheese on top of oozing yolk, there's no better velvety combo than that. Bacon slices were grilled nicely, creating crunchy edges without too much grease. No heavy sticky feeling even till the last few bites of the buns. In fact, I would love to order more if the line wasn't that crazy.

On the right: Gaucho $11 -


"Seared wagyu tri-tip steak, chimichurri, pickled red onion, shaved manchego cheese and seasoned arugula topped with an over medium egg, in a toasted veneto roll."

Moist steak and once again, oozing yolk -


The peppery note from the arugula adds a touch of fresh herbal note to this somewhat healthier looking but packed with guilty flavors combo. 

Tummy stuffed with slutty goodness, it was more than enough for me to last till dinner, until I made a turn and found a Mexican taco section just few steps away. Lengua, buche, cabeza, and all that exotic parts. Not mentioning the chicharrones piling up on the side. Maybe I'm still hungry.


Cindy's Rating: 7


Eggslut 
317 South Broadway (inside Grand Central Market)
Los Angeles, CA 90013
http://www.eggslut.com/

*Free one hour parking with validation (entrance on Hill Street between 3rd and 4th)
*Open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.